The foundation of a solid brand positioning is a thorough understanding of your market. That’s why I start every strategic process with an analysis of your organisation, your clients and your competition. And of the economical, technological and/or cultural powers that influence your market. This phase exists predominantly of a series of in-depth conversations with the business and marketing leaders of your organisation. It also consists of desk research of existing strategic documents and industry publications. With this information I can lay down the base for the next steps in every strategic process. For example, it can be the input for preparing qualitative research or a strategic workshop.
A broad market analysis does not always give enough specific information about the motives of your target group. That’s why it can be useful to get into a direct conversation with your consumer about its behavior and desires and about the product category and its brands. These sessions – that are held both 1 on 1 as well as in focus groups – generate valuable information and consumer insights that will inspire and give direction to the creative process.
Even when you have enough information about your market and your target, it can still be difficult to formulate an adequate positioning. This can be caused by different internal opinions or external powers that seem to frustrate an unambiguous positioning. If this is the case, we advise to conduct a brand essence workshop. These workshops are a mix of a creative brainstorm and a structured meeting with tangible goals. The output forms the ideal basis for a brand DNA document.
When a brand is born or its course being changed, we advise to create a document in which the brand’s DNA is unambiguously established, in order to make sure that all parties within the organization are building the same brand and have the same goals. The brand document formulates clearly and concisely 8 strategic segments that lead automatically to the brand essence. The document is thus a touchstone for any form of business development or branded exposure.
When an advertising or design agency is asked to develop a creative concept or design, we always advise to write a creative briefing. The creative briefing explains in a clear and concise way, among other things, the problems in the market, the goals of the client, the identity of the brand, the most valuable consumer insights and the key proposition of the product. A strong briefing adds focus, inspiration and efficiency to the creative process and will thus eventually contribute to more effective communication.
When a creative agency has worked out a concept, but the stakeholders are still struggling with its exact execution, a fresh and independent perspective or even a test among the target group can be desirable. This way you can judge whether the concept is sufficiently connected to the strategy and target group and whether amendments are required to make it more effective.